Saturday, February 28, 2009

All about you.

The invariable mark of passion is the continued pursuit after a stumble and a fall. If you read often, you know that I attended an audition today—the gig was in Tokyo, Japan for Disney; the opportunity of a lifetime. I arrived to the audition only to find almost 200 folks with the same goal as I; to land the opportunity of a lifetime. As soon as the audition started, I was in character. After all, there is no time better to be a prince than when charm is of the essence.

Luckily, the first cut was announced. I, number 53, was one of the 30, or so, numbers called. I MADE FIRST CUT! I was so grateful that I actually thanked God right then and there. The second part of the audition took place and I continued to give it my all. There was a guy there, named Prince, ironically, who was clearly my competition. We both had long, flowing blonde hair and were of similar physical appearance. The second cuts were announced and I was not among the chosen. As much fun as it would have been, I’m not upset. I met some really great people and had a lot of fun trying. My spirits were down initially, but they are back up. How can you learn to run faster if you never fall, right?

My initial thought was “how many auditions must I go on and not book before I lose my performer credibility?” I called my dad, knowing that he would boost up my ego and set me back on track. He did so successfully. This life is a tough life to pursue and in the journey towards success, failure is an entity to education. I am grateful to have made it to the audition, not to mention the first cut. No sympathy needed, I’m not upset, at all.

I need an opinion. Lately, my roommate and I have been trying to eat healthy. I am convinced that eating healthy does not have to mean eating bland food. For dinner I prepared the following:

Wheat pasta with fresh grated, melted cheddar cheese. I baked grilled chicken with a few spices added and shredded it up, than I put it in the noodles and cheese. I steamed broccoli and added it as well. I dubbed it ‘NJ’s chicken macaroni and cheese.’ I felt as though it was healthy, but figure I could use a second thought. Let me know what you think!

Tomorrow is callbacks for Bryan’s film, and I’m excited to work with the actors. I am waking up early and heading to the grocery store. We are having our fourth weekly pancake breakfast. Last week, I did it up pretty big—but tomorrow is going to be simple. My empty pocket doesn’t allow me to prepare luxurious breakfast each week. Flapjacks will suffice—especially when I make them!

My days continue to grow emptier. Although I love tending to the household duties (cooking, cleaning, keeping track of things) I need a day job. If any of you have friends or family in LA—let them know a hard worker is in the search. I understand the economical crisis hinders my chances.

The minute I have my own space again, there is one thing I will ABSOLUTELY have; a bookshelf. I think a bookshelf is such an excellent way to portray personality. I will use one shelf for books and the others for other knickknacks. When I picture my own apartment, there is a bookshelf, by a window; with books on one shelf; a vine-like plant on another, and a few knickknacks.

As my third (wow-third already) month as a regular blogger, I’ve come to enjoy this community extremely much. Although we are all cyber friends, I feel that the relationship carries over. In my daily conversations, I find myself telling people about all of you. What I’ve learned from you, what I’ve read, what I think of all of you (good things 100%). I am extending my cyber hand out as a sign of friendship and appreciation. Although our computer screens block us from meeting in person, I hope you know I am here for you. I am here for you to listen if you need a friend, and I assure you privacy is an option. Feel free to e-mail me at anytime if you need an outsider’s perspective.

Goodnight, my friends. Take care and thanks for reading,
Nick James

Friday, February 27, 2009

Always get to me.

Sorry for the repetition that will follow this, but I am so amused by this fact. By now, you probably have realized that part of my job entails working in an elevator. I spend about two hours consistently riding from floor to floor. In between rides, I find this wonderful source of inspiration. Each time the door closes lyrics fly out of me like I wish they always would. I write songs that are different than before. A group of people will come in; I share some experience with them, although rather short; they leave; I write. I feel like in that short time I am tapped into a story; a story that I must portray musically. Song titles including ‘I Try,’ ‘Completed,’ and ‘Breaking Point’ are just of the few in the making. I am going to go with the fact that I work in a music venue where creativity is in the surplus that causes me to write so much.

As amusing as this is, the more amusing part is me singing when I’m in the elevator alone. I work on a phrase and sing the melody I imagine. I do this over and over, all night, as though I was in my own personal recording studio. I do this fearlessly, knowing that the elevator door can open at any moment, revealing my own private performance. I want so badly to have the experience of the performers I see every night, that my time in the elevator, though strange, is so fulfilling. I’ve decided that when I make it big, I will call my first CD ‘Elevator Music.”

Tomorrow I have an audition with Disney, yet again. If there was a way I could say that in Japanese, I would feel more appropriate. Tomorrow’s audition is for a job in Tokyo. How unique of an experience would that be? I will keep you updated

The rest of the weekend will be fine. I have some errands for tomorrow morning, an audition at night. Saturday (4th weekly pancake breakfast) is callback day for my roommate’s film and work later. Sunday is open. If the weather permits it, I hope to visit a beach. I would not mind heading back to Santa Monica like I did when I first got here and watch the sunset.

The other day, my roommate asked if the HOLLYWOOD sign still gets to me. I initially replied with a simple no. However, upon contemplating this question further, I realized how false that was. I quickly corrected my answer and expressed how that sign will always get to me. It is a symbol of my hopes and dreams. It represents the world I want to work in, the world I want for myself. I’ve decided that 10 years down the road, when I am an established artist…the HOLLYWOOD sign will, indeed, still get to me.

I am tired after getting out of work at 1:00AM this morning. I love to write, but I need to sleep. I hope you all continue to have something get to you, in a breathtaking way. So long, take care.

Nick James

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Possession.

My current state of vulnerability sets possession at a term that supersedes any material vice. I miss possession more than anything right now. Right now in a place where I sleep in a hallway and function off of the belongings of two other people, having my own things seems more soothing than anything in the world. This isn’t a need for something to show off, but a need for a personal attachment to something tangible.

I first realized that this was in issue to me at work the other night. One of my co-workers offered me a metal water bottle that the club was giving away. I took it without a second thought.



The next day I woke up to see this shiny red water bottle staring at me. I continued on with my daily routine and headed to the gym. This time, however, I filled up and packed this new water bottle. Still in my mind this didn’t seem to abnormal, I mean who couldn’t use a water bottle at the gym. Continuing on in my day, I headed back to my apartment and threw my things down…only to see this shiny red water bottle staring at me. I decided to take it out of the bag it was in and wash it. I finished cleaning it and felt the need to fill it up again. I filled it up and took it to the couch with me where I worked on my computer. I guzzled down the water and still thought nothing about it.

Not able to consume any more water, I didn’t know what to do with my new friend…the red shiny water bottle, but I knew that I didn’t want to put it in the cabinet with the other cups and beverage containers. I walked over the closet where I keep my clothing and put it on a shelf.

It hit me at that moment how strange it is to have a connection to a water bottle. I thought about it further and figured it out why I felt this water bottle was so special. It was the first possession I had in Los Angeles. It felt great to have something that I brought home, something that I could use.

I realize right now how crazy this sounds—how truly, truly crazy this sounds.
The need to own something goes beyond this water bottle. I guess it was just the first item that has quenched my thirst for my own belongings (pun INTENDED).

I remember being younger and starting my first job; my first taste of money that I earned myself. I remember buying my first night out, my first articles of clothing and my first everything. This new freedom was something I couldn’t describe. Since earning my first dollar I have had somewhat of a spending problem. I never thought of money as something to save, rather it was a ball of fire burning through my pocket.

I am starting to learn why I’ve had this problem. It wasn’t so much that I needed the items I purchased, but I liked the feeling of owning something. I am naturally a nurturing person, so I welcome all forms of possession; be it an article of clothing, a car, or a gift for a friend, I get satisfaction from being the owner.

Coming out to Los Angeles has forced me to sacrifice one of the feelings I love and have loved from the start. I sleep in a hallway of an apartment full of items owned by two other people, paid by two other people. I have no space that is my own. I have no space to put anything that is my own. I’ve lost touch of the feeling of using something that is mine. It hit me tonight, as I was feeling depressed, that the hole in my life is possession. Until the future, I will love and care for my new shiny red water bottle.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Use ability.

Venturing through the city today was an excellent experience. I realized that for the past two months I’ve neglected to stray from a path I know so well. I follow two main roads to get to anywhere I need to walk to. Not today, though, when I saw a farmers market set up down an entire street. I excitedly left my typical trail and crowded in with all of the people. Fresh fruits and vegetables were in the surplus, and the colorful foods allowed it to be a flashy scene. My new interest in cooking and food made the entire experience all the more exciting. Vendors screaming in hopes to gain attention, folks nibbling on the freshest of produce, and an overall energy of excitement in the air consumed my focus for several minutes. It was like visiting a fair, without the screams of little ones and rattles of old amusement rides. Unfortunately, I am a plastic man and don’t regularly carry cash with me, so my enjoyment of this market was purely visual, however, I am contemplating gearing up and heading that way again before day’s end.

Towards the end of the market was the entrance to the Los Angeles Public Library. The natural flow of pedestrian traffic seemed to guide me to the front doors, so I stepped inside to take a look. I expected to see a typical library copious with books, the silence of individuals educating themselves on several topics and that smell of old paper. Just like most things in Los Angeles, I was very wrong. I walked in, only to find a palace. This several-storied (haha pun) library was full of people, art, culture and escalators stringing it all together. I wasn’t exactly on schedule for the day forcing me to head home, but the Los Angeles Public Library is absolutely on my list of places to investigate.

As you may recall, I was in the running for a modeling gig in PA, which would ultimately grant me a reason to visit home. Unfortunately, those familiar streets will have to continue on without me, because I didn’t get the position. As much of a great experience as it would have been, I’m more upset that I don’t get to go visit Cleveland.

I am in no means homesick, but there are several things left behind that I would love to visit again. First and foremost, I would love to see my family. Obviously I would love to see my friends. Mostly, though, I would love to go visit the familiar place with my new, more experienced, perspective. Oh well, I will just have to wait a little longer.

As you know, one of my latest projects includes a short film produced and directed by my roommate. This started off as a nice gesture, but turned into a huge learning experience. Learning aside, it turned into a great feeling as I called our actors to return for callbacks and heard how excited they were. It made me proud to work on something that jolted the spirits of these talented individuals. I look forward to working with them further this Saturday.

I like the way projects emulate life. Each factor that goes into a project ultimately guides it to completion. Each person you meet in life helps guide you through the journey. Each of us has our own experiences and bits of knowledge, that when we put them together the journey becomes more unique. No two people can share the exact same experience as another two people; for we are all different in the way we learn and use ability. Each time I am together with someone, I am happy to know that it is an experience that only I can share.

In terms of meeting people, I am learning the challenges of doing so right now. Being thousands of miles away from the friendships I’ve built over the years, I find myself lonely quite often. I am extremely outgoing, and pretty settled when it comes to meeting and talking with people. I can go to a party and successfully chat with whomever I run into, but I find that my conversations never turn into friendships. I’ve met some great people here that I would call acquaintances, but I feel that I fail when it comes to presenting me as someone with something to offer. I know I’m not intimidating, stupid, or socially awkward, but for some reason I don’t have appeal when it comes to forming friendships. This is upsetting, not because I think I’m supposed to be popular, because I know I have a lot of positivity and fun to offer. It has only been two months, so I know that I’ll find some great people who will get to know me.

Meeting people also goes along with the idea that it is not what you know in life, but who you know. While I agree with that a lot, I refuse to sit comfortably on my abilities and wait for someone to get me where I need to be. I am too competitive to be confident, so I will continue to work hard at honing my talent and perfecting my skill, while networking out here in Los Angeles.
For now I am out of thoughts. I have a huge apartment to clean, a dinner to plan, work to do and a gym to hit. I hope that everyone is finding enjoyment in their journey right now. Take care!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sensation of home.

I must start this off by addressing the fact that I smile at people; strangers, friends, co-workers and everyone. I often get criticized by those who are with me, especially the shy people. If I can induce any conversation or smiling with another individual, I feel quite grand about it all. I guess you can describe me as Mr. Rogers... Mr. Neighborly. With extended efforts of correspondence, I often get shut down. As much as I respect those who are wrapped up in their own worlds, I get frustrated at the same time. I don't get frustrated for just myself, but for the next ten people this person will snub.

It is so interesting to me how the web of society is strung in this world. We are all so connected, yet so separated. In our social networks, at our homes, at work and on dates we are important to those who are surrounding us. The second we are detached from a familiar place, we become faceless nobodies to those we pass. Not the people who pass me, though, because I recognize that each person I pass has made somebody a better, happier person.

This goes along greatly with those who have found success. Today, in a certain anonymous situation, I was surrounded by very successful business people. I'm talking millionaire business people. Just as I would smile at anyone, I offered a smile to these individuals, and perhaps a few little chatters of small talk. Some of these individuals reciprocated the gesture very kindly, but others, well others, were simply rude. As I peered through the egos of these rich individuals, I saw the soul of a person who sacrificed a lot to earn their positions. A person who, most likely, in the beginning was as common as I...a person who wasn't always so cold shouldered. It hurts my feelings that these people, in the midst of their life, have forgotten so much of who they were. These people would have gained so much of my respect had I known them during their climb, but knowing who they became at the top has made me feel very sorry for them. I guess what I am trying to say is never become too good for those on their rise. Remember that no matter where you stand in this world, the average Joe and Joans of the world are important somewhere.

The owner of my passion right now is song writing. So much so, that every time the elevator closed at work today (I worked the elevators all night) I was jotting lyrics on the back of a piece of scrap paper. Maybe it was being trapped between four metal walls in a very confined space, but escaping my feelings was not an option tonight. As I rode up and down, lyrics poured from my heart.

The next step in this wonderful process is production. Taking these lyrics and intended melodies and putting them to music. Luckily, a friend of mine is an extremely talented musician and has agreed to work with me. The two of us will test out our musical chemistry, ultimately deciding whether we should pursue music together. I have wanted this for as long as I can remember. Being in a band is a goal of mine that I’ve waited for, what seems like, forever. As our musical rendezvous approaches, I am excited to delve into this dream.

A strange sensation took me by surprise the other night, after cooking dinner. I was sitting on the couch, snuggling up in a blanket, and watching a movie. In my own little cushiony cocoon, the sensation of home became present. This was a remarkable find, considering life in LA can be described as pretty un-settling. It has been a long time since I’ve been overcome with the comfort of home and I am excited, perhaps scared, that I feel so right here.

If you’ve ever moved away from the majority of your social life, you will understand what I am talking about here. When you move away, you quickly find who you deeply enjoy, because keeping in touch with EVERYONE is truly unrealistic. You start to find who has captivated your interest the most, as you realize who you talk to more than anyone. As your social life emerges into adult mode, you start to learn what a friend is and how to maintain friendships effectively. As a mature adult, I can admit when someone and I aren’t meant to be friends—but that doesn’t mean we cannot be cordial. I’m realizing each day that I enjoy myself if I am cordial with everyone in the world. I have those who are my friends and I have those who are my acquaintances. I will not fight someone to remain in any of those categories; rather I will treat everyone with respect. I’ve learned not to require too much from someone, as we are all extremely busy in this quick paced world.

I’ve decided to start my own little book club on my blog. I was inspired from a fellow blogger and am excited to get started. If you look on the right side of my blog panel, you will find the current book I am reading. After I complete the book, I will offer a review of the book, ultimately inspiring you to read or not to read.

As I grow more tired with each word I write, I find this important to say before I am fast asleep. It was so great opening my e-mail and having your e-mails filling up my inbox. Thank you to those who have sent me an e-mail, I am excited to respond and get into some great conversation. I will offer my e-mail address again in hopes to talk to more of you personally. NickJames18@aol.com is the address, you know what to do!

To all of you, have a fantastic night—take care of yourselves and those around you. Remember, even strangers make somebody smile!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mind and soul.




That is my own little twist on an obvious classic. For our Oscar celebration, I prepared homemade hamburgers with cheddar cheese, bleu cheese and a dash of crushed red pepper (yes I like heat). Not to leave anything typical, I dressed up some regular bread and shaped them to help make my burgers gourmet (or appear to be)!

This post is very different than my last post, because I am literally sitting here with the post open, writing whatever comes to my mind at the time. Sorry if this seems extremely pointless and random.


Today was a very relaxed day; after a late night out, it was much needed. I spent the day, thus far, cooking and eating--and, of course, watching the Oscars. As I watch them on TV, it is pretty cool to be able to look off of my balcony and see some of the commotion (especially the Goodyear blimp that does all of the aerial filming). After the Oscar's, I plan to hit the gym and work off some of this weekend's damage.

I was reading some of my very old poetry today and came across one that represents my current mood.

Comfort In A Friend.

The music in the background.
The feeling of the wind.
The comfort of our conversation.
The comfort in a friend.


I know this poem is extremely simple, but the tone is exactly how I feel now. With an overcast sky, a slight breeze and an open schedule, my mind and soul are as relaxed as ever. Truth be told, it is 5:24 and I am still in my cozy pajama pants. All I have the desire to do is catch up with my friends and watch TV. So far, my wishes have come true. As day turns to night, I am going to make some of my favorite coffee, wrap up in a blanket and watch my girlfriend, Anne Hathaway, win all night (I hope so). If anyone is feeling as relaxed as I am, feel free to contact me via e-mail for a nice chat. NickJames18@aol.com is the address, you know how to do the rest!

"Love is unconditional, timeless and ageless; and a really special gift to be treasured."
-Goldie Haun

I'll find that again, won't I?

I'm all tapped out right now. Have a great night everyone...I hope you are as relaxed as I am.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Conflicting with my desire.

Today has been a day that I earned the greatest amount of wisdom that I've come across in quite a bit of time. My roommate, a digital film student, held auditions. These auditions were both fun and informative. As a performer, I've stood on the side of a table where I was judged and assessed. Today, as the casting director, I was on the side of the table where I assessed and determined. This wasn't a power gain for me, rather an ability to "walk a mile in the casting directors shoes." It was so beneficial to gain insight as to what the employers I so often pursue are looking for. I was able to see the passion and desire of the actors as they poured their heart out into the characters. I offered each actor a smile and an assurance of my understanding--encouraging them to kick back and relax. I feel so much more informed as to how to conduct a proper audition. To apply this to life, I've learned how crucial it is to walk a mile in someone elses shoes. You can learn, not only about the individual, but about how you are perceived; ultimately making you a more informed person. It was somewhat like looking in the mirror. I encourage everyone to go on the other side of the table and pay attention to how it is you could possibly be viewed.

Take that advise, because as I am learning--all of life is a huge casting call. People meet you, they determine your personality type and capabilities; then you get placed into certain stereotypes--roles, if you will. I don't condone this type of person placement, but I do realize it happens. The life is our stage--what character will you play?

As much as I enjoyed being on that side of the table, it boosted my eagerness to jump back on the other. It is so much more fulfilling to work hard and impress than to judge the impression of others. This has taught me that acting in student films isn't a bad thing, rather, extremely important in the development in many crucial skills. I am definetly going to sign up for some auditions as soon as possible!

Today marked our third weekly pancake breakfast, but I raised the bar this morning. We worked hard today, so I wanted to make a true breakfast for a champion. Look and get hungry.



This morning on the breakfast menu was as follows:

Pancakes served with roasted almonds and a banana compote, maple sausage (an organic brand of sausage), and a delicious egg quiche! I was impressed with myself, I must say--especially since work let out at around 2:30AM. My co-workers were really happy and we got through the auditions with great force.

Today the sky is overcast, the weather is gloomy--and it is conflicting with my desire to be inspired today. The past three days, I must admit, I have not been in the greatest of moods and it is affecting the way I am treating my friends. I need to step out of this funk.

As I selfishly go about in a funk, I must return a mention from an individual who knows what it means to live. An individual who can rightfully look at me and hate me for being in a funk. I think she is such a remarkable and positive individual who has had her life tested, yet she remains positive. Audrey, you are great and so is your story.

With such a mention, I couldn't help but choose now to introduce my first ever blog award that I created. The title of the award is The Onward Award. Those who receive it will have inspired individuals to move society forward with positivity, perseverence, and an honest heart.



I want to award three bloggers with the first ever award. The individuals I choose are the following.

Stage 3! Who, me? -When life handed her a challenge, she chose to not let it define the person she has become. She has remained positive and has the ability to recognize the things that have gotten her through tough times.

Musings from the deep- Instantly upon entering her blog page, you get a sense of tranquility. She uses her own experience to point out truths of society.

Firing up the Canon- When things seemed the most difficult, she remained positive and made her situation better than ever. She chose not to sulk in her difficulties, but to make them into new adventures.

The Passionate Bookworm- She has accepted change and understands that life changes. Instead of fearing the change, she made her new experiences as rich as possible.

M.IV- Anyone who reads Clay's blog can instantly see he has an impact on people. With several dedicated followers, Clay's brilliant writing delivers a sense of emotion to each and every reader.

I am excited about the new winners and trust that they will help deliver this award to those who deserve it. I won't set an amount of people who need to receive this award, because I feel that they must truly deserve it! Congrats!

Everyone, take care today. Understand that in my world, you don't have to be any certain person to fit in. All characters are welcome, as long as they are portrayed with truth.

The good, the bad...the sad.

This is going to sound absolutely nuts, but I will proceed anyway.

You don't know somebody until you know somebody. For the sake of protection, I am going to be very brief and shallow in my description. I've learned that you can go your entire life "knowing" somebody, appreciating everything about them and than it hits you......somewhere in this situation you realize the things you know are no longer relevant about this person. You've worked so hard to get to know them, that you stopped when you reached a certain point. We have to remember that getting to know someone is an ongoing process that takes genuine effort. Sorry to say, but sometimes the person you once knew turns into someone you are fine not knowing at all. Chalk it up to a "thanks for being there" sort of thing, because it is truly too heartbreaking to realize that you've been friends with a figment of the past.

I'm really sorry, that is probably the most negative thing I've said on here. We have all been in situations where we've been let down--my advice--stay strong.

I define a good friendship as a correspondence where effort meets honesty. Where nothing but the truth is said. After all, if two people can handle the truth, than they can handle eachother completely. Recently, a friend, a very good friend, brought something I was doing to my attention. She informed me of a habit I was falling into and I appreciate that she did so. She informed me that in the midst of my new experience, I was looking past the experiences of others. I am so glad she informed me of this, because it is the last habit I want to fall into. The entire conversation opened many eyes for me (more than two if I had them). First, it made me step back and realize the importance of including other people's experience into my conversations (which I generally do want to do). Second, it made me think about how good of friends her and I must be after she called me out. Lastly, I applied that realization to all of my friendships and the product is a guy working harder to appreciate everyone around him.

As I've said before, I've been working pretty hard on writing some truthful music. It hit me today in the midst of writing how ironic my entire song colletion is. I instantly write about love. While I've had my first taste of love, I didn't realize that it was so profound in my life that it consumes my entire creative being. It isn't that I write about love that is frustrating me, it is the fact that I neglect other factors of my life. I always go around claiming that love and romance isn't for me, but what if truthfully it is--maybe it is and I'm just scared of it. I let one bad experience...no, not bad experience...GREAT experience that ended ruin so many opportunties for me. Since dating Gina, I've not gone on one single date, I've not had a romantic aim and I've taken nothing seriously in terms of relationships. I've let so many opportunities pass me by, and I wonder why. I'm a young, decent looking guy, shouldn't I be celebrating my prime with experiences full of romance? I can write romance, speak romance, teach romance, but I can't do romance. I am totally aware of how young I am, but so much is learned from taking moments seriously with another person. I am frustrated with myself, because I know that if I worked harder towards it I could have a very special relationship. I need to let go of the moments of a perfect summer and a perfect relationship, and realize that there are more people out there for me to experience.

Tonight I was able to watch the Wynonna Judd concert. Although an interesting crowd rushed the venue, I really enjoyed her. She has the voice of lightening, a personality of gold, and a true passion for what she does. Her music takes listeners through a journey. As she performed songs from her new album, I was consumed in the lyrics and the styalized delivery. Who knew that I was so fond of Wynonna Judd. Of course, her classic "Grandpa" touched the hearts of me and everyone else in the joint.

The song instantly takes you back to some past time in your life where you just can't help but wonder "why?" I was instantly back several years ago to a living room with a Great Grandmother who taught me about the rosary everyday...a few years later, I was in a kitchen with a Great Grandma who taught me how to make Sugar Boys (sugar-covered fried dough) while waving her cane at me...a few more years later, I was wrapped in the hug of a Grandmother who taught the power of kindess, and not too long after that, I was at a kitchen table sipping coffee and singing "I'm forever blowing bubbles," with a Great Grandmother--all of these individuals have since passed, but their legacy lives on in my heart every single day. As I write this, I feel my heart opening up with sadness, but I am okay. I am okay, because I realize how blessed I was to have shared so much of my life with these fine ladies. They shared stories and experiences with me that I could never, ever forget. While being alive, they helped me grow so much and in losing them, although an awful feeling, they helped me grow up so much. It is true when they say that you never stop missing someone. I haven't stopped a single day. Everyday, I feel the same pain I felt the day that I lost some of the best people I ever knew. I can grasp the very emotion I felt and weep instantly--as I trying not to right now. I just can't help but wonder if they knew how much of my love was aimed towards them. This is a poem I wrote in honor:

When your time's run short
And you have to go
Spread your wings
You're not alone
For we are here
By your side
To lift you up
And help you fly
God will show you love and truth
He will now take care of you
Like you did for the one's you love
Our angel on earth has flown above


(Copyright 2009)

That poem says it all...angel on earth. Each of those woman were nothing less than a God sent gift for me. I wanted to share how important they were, because I miss them very much right now.

I apologize if the tone of this blog was negative or depressing, but it shouldn't be. I take all that comes with my life--the good and the bad...and the sad. Everything has taught me something, and I am finding that learning is so much more than obtaining knowledge. It is obtaining knowledge and applying it to life. We only have one shot at living and I find it imperative to learn all I can. I want to leave it behind so that those who have learned from me have an, even better, experience.

I hope you all have a great day--Take care!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sense of completion.

I know I'm not a legitimate chef by any means, but I am passionate about creation. I consider cooking a key form of creation. This is a meal I created for my roommates.



Looks good, I know. I served BBQ ribs, with crushed red pepper and chipotle style Tabasco sauce. I made a pasta side dish and served it all with a fresh vegetable salad with homemade croutons.

With that being said, I am finding how much I truly love making things. Whether it be helping my roommate with his current movie production, or cooking dinner. There is something so satisfying about taking something from point "A" to "B." With my new life, I am constantly creating for myself; experience, life, funds, survival, etc. There is so much that goes into making something happen, that when it finally is completed a sense of completion overwhelms me. I never knew how much I liked working on different projects, but, truthfully, knowing how much I can do is really rewarding. As I create many different projects I hope you create something you are proud of.

Recently having received my first blog award, I've been drilling away at creating my own. It sounds like a simple task, however, I want this award to be really unique and hard to give out. As ideas bounce around in my head, I'll continue to read my favorite blog pages. I know I will find inspiration through these folks who teach me so much everyday.

I watched American Idol and was reminded as to how much I truly love performance. Not that I needed reminding, because it is on my mind every second of the day, but seeing it in action; all of the smiles on the performers faces, the guts out delivery of song, the precise and well rehearsed portrayal of the performer these individuals want to be are all so inspirational. As jealous as I am of these blessed, talented individuals I know I will light my stage one day.

I am currently in an uncomfortable situation where someone I consider a brother is slowly drifting from my life. This individual is too close to lose, but too far to understand. He, like me, does not enjoy talking on the phone, but we are both so far away I don't really see other options. I rely too much on his understanding of me to wait until the next time we are around each other. I consider this friendship to much like gold to keep it out of sight, out of mind. The fact of the matter is I feel down when I think that I take the friendship more seriously than he. We've shared too much to be this distant from one another. I'm not lost as to what needs to happen in this situation, I just needed to share that it is driving me nuts.

Recently, thanks to this blog, a new friend has come into my life. Although we are 3,000 miles away he has managed to impress me with every conversation we share. Talking to him makes me admire a fearless conversation. Both of us are profound and critical thinkers, and we aren't afraid to share that in verbal context. We can talk about a situation and one of us will be ranting off in such a poetic and demanding way. It hit me today when he made me feel like I was reading a blog when he talked. I love people who can understand, so thoroughly, what they feel and are able to execute it in a mature and stylistic manner. I am glad to have met this person and am excited to see what I take from him in the future.

Life is a big game of who we have and who we gain-- We are constantly balancing classic friendships with the new, ultimately forming our own social standards. Some of these people build up enough endurance to stay for a long time, but others run the race too fast, tiring themselves before the finish. Regardless the place in line, each of these people are running the same race. Be conscious as to who is around and learn from them, and enjoy their company while it last. As my close friend becomes distant, I will enjoy my new friend who grows near. I know in the end, both stand a great chance of finishing, but it isn't about the outcome--just the race that was run.

I am a full fledged busy body. I like to have several things going on at once, it is the best way I function. I often joke that if I could lead a life in both Los Angeles and Cleveland, I would. This morning as my phone rang at 7:00AM that statement became very valid. A talent agency that I was in contact with back East called me and offered me a pretty unique job. I spent plenty of time on the phone learning the logistics of it and I was pretty excited at the idea of flying home and gaining the experience. The final key to whether or not this could happen was if the flight would have allowed me to gain a profit.........I added the pause so we could all share a laugh--RIGHT! The flights are so expensive right now that I'm not sure I will ever afford going home (haha). The point of this story is that we are so often faced with situations where we have to choose and sacrifice things that we, otherwise, would kill for. I am a full fledged busy body and if I start jogging now, I could make it to Cleveland by March!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Today's Big Challenge.

Today's post is a short story I wrote. This was the first story I have written, but felt like sharing it with you. It may not be great, but I enjoyed writing it. I hope you enjoy reading it.





Today’s Big Challenge.

Joey was an eleven year old and although he kept up with the age of his peers, it always seemed as though he was a few steps behind; more like a few feet. As everyone at school continued to grow, Joey seemed to stay the same. From grade to grade, Joey quickly became the shortest kid in all of his classes; even shorter than the girls. Everyone poked fun off of Joey day after day. They would shout at him, “hey Joey can you tie my shoes while your down there!” Laughter filled the room as the red rush of shame filled his face. Height wasn’t the only area Joey fell behind, actually, not even close to it. When Kevin, next door, got a new bike, Joey was still using his Dad’s old bike from when he was young. Kevin, next door, of course, made fun of Joey. After years of the similar scenario, Joey learned to grow numb against the negative words of others. If he were the trash can and their words the rubbish, he put a lid on and let their hatred pollute their own reputations. However, this survivor-like attitude is a lot easier to say than do. Joey saw it happen quickly. Kevin, the one man army, became a legion of young followers who loved the same antics as their beach blonde and blue-eyed leader. When Joey was minding his own business out in the driveway, they were ruining his time by throwing things and screaming false truths. Joey quickly grew smaller in more ways than just his height.


It was still the early weeks of school and the weather was still suitable for some after school fresh air. By four o’clock, most of the time, the kids of Royal Wood Acres rode their fancy bikes down the gravel road, by Mr. and Mrs. Delpot’s house, even though they were all afraid of the old couple. The sides of the rocky road were in surplus of dandelions and the little thorny plants that they all referred to has crab leaves. Rough terrain aside, they would all meet up. The girls would all stand around and gawk as they saw all the boys from class that they had crushes on. Quiet whispers of the daily gossip floated along the wind as though the mouths they fell from wanted to broadcast every little secret harvesting in the school hallways. Of course, no one was ever staring at Joey. Joey still showed up every day, even though no one was really all too fond of him. Joey would play games with everyone, but he would always be picked last. When his unlucky team needed him to pull through at the last minute, the sun seemed to strike a little brighter and blind Joey and the ball fell right through his reach. Needless to say, Joey had a lot of work to do to salvage his reputation.


Down the road further, was Dales Hill. Down Dales Hill was the neighborhood monster. They called it just that; Monster Tree. Monster Tree was a tall and rigid tree that seemed built just for climbing. Pretty much all of the “cool kids” have conquered the climb at some point, thus the reason they are considered the popular kids. Once someone reached the top, one of the little girls from their class suddenly formed a crush on him. Joey tried to climb the tree. His naturally small size and weak body prevented him from getting past the second branch. He’d almost get there every try and fall, usually skimming his knee. This time as tears filled his eyes, he would fight off the emotion and ride home as quick as his old 1-gear would allow. He cried; not because of the bloody knees or inadequate bike, but because of the laughter that haunted him every time he just tried to fit in.


Joey’s dad was a business man and he always seemed a little too busy to pay full attention to Joey. However, with enough hassling from his over protective wife, Joey’s dad’s schedule seemed to disappear with the slamming of his youngest son’s bedroom door. As he made the climb up the 13 stairs that separated him from an awkward conversation with his son, he thought about what could possibly have happened in an hour with his “friends.” Knock, Knock! The knock startled Joey and his tears started pouring a little quicker. “Go away,” Joey yelled as he was too embarrassed to be crying; after all, he was an eleven year old and that meant he was too old to cry according to his standards. Completely ignoring his son’s weak demands, Stephen opened the door and made way to the side of the bed, where Joey was buried in his safety net of blankets. “Hey buddy, what’s wrong,” he asked. No response, just heavy breathing and a clear and desperate effort to stop crying. His dad, hoping to grow absent in this situation, got up and headed for the door. “Wait,” Joey exclaimed. Like a rubber ball hitting a concrete block, Stephen was back on the side of the bed, eagerly awaiting the story.


“Dad,” he said, “why can’t I be like the other kids?” Extremely shocked and concerned, his dad stuttered, “What do you mean buddy? You fit in just fine? What makes you think you don’t?” “Everything, my grades, no girls have crushes on me (he blushed in shock that he actually revealed this to his father), all the kids say that I am a midget and think I am a loser because I cannot climb Monster Tree, Joey said” Stephen, almost heartbroken for his ignorance to his son’s situation wrapped his son up in a concerned stare and said, “Your size means nothing and you are just as good as everyone else, don’t let me hear you sell yourself short again.” Joey’s bloody knees almost seemed highlighted at this point as Joey peeked to see how bad the cut was this time. Joey’s dad quickly realized that climbing that tree meant more than climbing a tree to Joey, and apparently all the other kids in the neighborhood too. At a loss for words, Stephen provided a cliché for his son, but had a plan of action to make it worthwhile advice. “Joe, listen, you can climb that tree. You just need a little bit of practice, what do you say, I’ll take you to that tree and make sure you get a hang of climbing?” Half-shocked at his dad’s willingness, Joey dried his face and sat up in agreement.


As Joey and his father walked down the familiar path to his usual embarrassment, they shared, for the first time, small talk. Stephen never knew his son’s favorite color was blue or that he really liked to read. As they approached monster tree, Stephen looked a little bit confused- it was a lot smaller than he imagined. Of course, it was enormous to Joey who immediately was swarmed with anxiety at the sight of the tree. Stephen shouted to Joey, who was walking ahead of him, “You got this buddy, let me see you try.” Joey picked up his pace and started to climb the tree. He got to his usual checkpoint and he slid right down. Stephen was there to catch him. Through his observations Stephen had a list of what his son could do better and wasn’t short of advice while telling Joey. “Focus more; slow down, reach just a little further and you’ll get it.” Joey took all this advice, happily, and started climbing. Up, up…and he reached a new level of the tree. In his excitement Joey lost balance and slid to the bottom of the trunk. “It worked, Joey shouted!” Stephen satisfied with the progress he produced, gave his son a sign of approval and encouraged him to continue trying. Each time Joey tried, he climbed higher and higher. He felt that he was ready to prove his abilities to his classmates and tomorrow was the day.


He woke up a little bit earlier today. The sun was shining and the heat grabbed for him through the window. For the first time he realized how the light blue curtains flowing in the breeze looked like the clouds he would reach for today. The butterflies seemed as though they were fluttering around, making his finger tips wiggle about. He paid no mind to what he put on, as long as he could move about freely, he knew he was suited up to go. The denim shorts bunched up on his floor quickly became the uniform he would wear to feat this journey. Faded grass stains acted as proof of many previous attempts. Faded grass stains and wounded spirits would act as no weight today. Today was going to be the day. He was going to reach the top, regardless of what the other kids would say. Today, he would not let the fact that he was a wee bit shorter than everyone else stop him. Sure, he may get scrutinized, made fun of, but he wouldn’t let the words of other people shorten his reach. He would climb, flowing, like a river that isn’t burdened by any stone. Nope, “Today I am going to get to the top,” he said with so much confidence as he headed towards today’s big challenge. He was going to climb the locally famous tree on Dales Hill.


Each class went by very slow today, slower than usual. Although Joey felt like he knew everything, his grades would, as always, suggest otherwise. However, none of that mattered today. Joey did not wake up this morning and say “I am going to overcome my scholarly hardships.” He woke up knowing that he was going to prove himself to his peers. The final bell rang and Joey ran out into the school parking lot searching for his mom’s SUV. He ran to it, hopped in and encouraged her to drive a little bit faster today. As she pulled into the driveway, Joey opened his door before the car even seemed to stop. He hopped on his bike and headed for Dales Hill. Kevin and his friends were already there, armed with insults and brutality towards Joey. Joey didn’t care; he was going to drop their jaws today. When one of his classmates called upon him to climb the tree, Joey approached it, both nervously and confidently. Now was the time.


As the rigid bark of the tree first touched Joey’s skin, a rush of adrenaline surpassed the knots in his stomach. He gripped the first branch as tightly as he could, knowing that he had to get past it. Joey used his entire mite and climbed that tree. At the time in which Joey passed his usual drop spot, the mutters of mockery silenced at the fact that Joey got as far as he did. Out of breath, Joey solidified his spot and caught his breath. Kevin, annoyed with his progress screamed “Hey look, he is stuck; he’ll never climb this tree. He is just a twerp.” Anger took over Joey and in the mood to prove him wrong he climbed higher and higher. He had about four more branches until he reached the top. One, two…stop. Joey had to catch his breath and stomach, yet again. As he reached for the next branch something went wrong. Joey missed his target and slipped a little. In his ultimate journey to defeat, one ounce of fear ruined what he had built up and Joey quickly wanted down from the tree. Rather than falling and injuring himself as usual, Joey regressed down the tree, branch by branch. Humiliation stung Joey as much as the splinters in his hand, but he wouldn’t let it show. When he got back down to the ground, Joey didn’t do what he usually did. No tears, no emotions, he hopped on his bike and road home.


Something hit Joey when he hit the soil this time. He didn’t see himself as a failure; quite honestly, he was too excited about how high he got this time. He was more concerned with running home to tell his Dad, than to feel sorry for himself. The lesson here is that although Joey didn’t reach the top, he practiced and made improvements. Also, he was proud of himself so it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. Life isn’t about reaching the same points as everyone else; rather, it is about reaching your own destinations and finding beauty in those surroundings. Today’s big challenge was not overcome, but challenges down the road have become much easier for Joey now that he learned all of this.

**Picture credit goes to: http://www.seeya-downtheroad.com/2004/GiantTreeUpward.jpg

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The award goes to.

The Passionate Book Worm, a great friend and a wise writer, awarded me some very 'prestigious' awards. I suggest you visit her blog to gain some great insight. I was lucky and proud to accept the following awards:





Proper etiquette suggest that I award my favorite bloggers as well. I award the same 3 awards to the following bloggers:

- Firing up the Canon
- Queenet
- M.IV
- Living Happily and Healthfully
- Practically Nonsense
- Musings From The Deep **My computer is being goofy, I will add links ASAP!
- Finding My Wings In Life
- End Part 1 of life...New Beginnings
- Decided Artist
- An Explorers View of Life

Congratulations to the new award winners. For those of you who do not know, I was taught, that the winners of awards are to award these awards to 10 of their favorite blogs. Also, show off your hard work by adding these awards to your blog. Simply save the award to your computer, add the photo gadget to your blog (for each award) and post the award. I am honored to have been recognized and proud to pass along the award.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Join me enjoying a glass half full.

I once said that it is important to be an individual and pave your own way because if you are following in someone else's path it only means that they are already ahead of you, or they have already reached the destination. In the grand scheme of things I find the entity to getting to where you need to be is individuality. Life is like a dance where sometimes you lead and other times you are guided. The times where you lead, you guide yourself through life with impeccable motion. In being yourself, you create scenarios and situations that best suit your own personality. It is wonderful to go where other's have tested the waters, however, it is remarkable to sail your own sea. At the end of the day the only person we HAVE to know is ourselves. Through life's journey, never lose sight of who you are. If we allow ourselves to become societal molds, we lose the very thing that colors this world; individuality. I find uniqueness to be as intriguing as the solar system. It is dark and uncharted, however, we know that there is beauty in the stars. Be your own star in this giant place...at the end of the day it is the light we shine on others that makes us people to remember. As I shine my light on you, share yours with everyone!

A key character in my life's story is a man named Doug. I am lucky enough to have him in my life has an experienced informer. I confidently say that he is the hardest working and most rewarded individual I have come across. Sacrificing so much of himself, he built a life that he is proud of and a family that loves him. The wisdom he has given me over the years is priceless, yet it is one of the most treasured gifts I have. To share every bit of knowledge he has shared would require me to write a book to big for publishing. One of the bits of advice that he shared with me two years ago is quite simple, but I use it in everything I do. The advice is as follows...expect nothing. So simple, yet so beneficial to everything I've gone through. Though this advice seems a bit negative, in context it is as enlightening as can be. Through life we are put into so many situations where we gain or lose so much. In these situations, we have pre-conceived ideas of what we will gain from the experience or what we want to gain from it. Doug tells me to enter these situations with no expectation. I wrapped this idea up by saying that if we expect nothing, we will always have more than we thought and never have less than we wanted. It is so crucial in life to let things pan out in their own terms. We can work hard and do our best to create a certain happy ending, however, we should not work to mold the happy ending. Life happens, simply stated. Life happens and there is nothing we can do but our best. As I give my best to everything I do, I hope you do as well...remember to expect nothing.

In my short time alive, I have taken my share of cranky days. Truthfully, I consider my old self pretty negative. I had the ability to look at anything and instantly decide what I didn't like about it. My youthfulness was demonstrated in a way I am disgustingly not proud of. I am so happy that somewhere along the line I found peace with almost everything in this world. I'm not saying I don't dislike some stuff, but I've learned that I am not important enough to have a say. Until I am an expert on a subject, I refuse to speak up on it. I have my ways and my beliefs, however, I don't use them as standards to preach to others. If we allow ourselves to complain about life we ultimately put ourselves in bad moods. If we spend all of our days in bad moods, our yesterday's will be nothing to look back on. I hope you will join me in enjoying a glass half full. Cheers to a more positive living experience.

I had a good conversation today about first dates. My friend and I debated whether or not first dates are the best. We both concluded that they are, however, we both have different ideals of what a first date includes. A cliche image of a first date is a romantic dinner, flowers, a movie after, and a nervously anticipated goodnight kiss. My opinion is that a first date should be the complete opposite. My ideal first date is spent doing something less intimate; hiking, bowling, bike riding, etc. I truthfully don't like introducing romance to a date until about the third. I feel that you have to dig a hole before you can fill it. I think that romance does not fit into a situation where no social foundation has been built. A successful relationship is one shared with your best friend. I was lucky enough to spend my first time in love with my best friend. I honestly believe that romantic success is earned when both parties share more than a beating heart.

I urge everyone, including myself, to be more involved in the happenings of the world. We can grow more involved by delving further into the logistics of our own personal interest. I do my best to read some news everyday. I won't lie and say I read everything, but I do read the things I am interested in. I try to focus my attention on news involving entertainment. To share my knowledge, I've added a scrolling news bar at the bottom of my blog that will offer you some entertainment and literary news. Whether or not you have an interest in these topics is your choice, but I hope you find something to grow knowledgeable of.

I said before in one of my post how fond I am of e-mailing. Being that a few new bloggers have been visiting my site, I will offer my e-mail address again. If anything I talk about strikes an interest or demands for further conversation, I would be happy to participate. Feel free to e-mail me at NickJames18@aol.com. Please include a subject line that involves the world blog. Please be nice and don't send me viruses or anything harmful, I just truly want to engage my readers more. I check my e-mail very frequently, so I am very excited to hear from you!

My declaration.

I find no harm in someone feeling extreme pride for their own cultures, however, when that pride covers up one's human decency, I find it appalling. We as humans, especially in America, should embrace the gifts of diversity. Ethnocentrism is an attitude that blows my mind away. When one shines the light of their culture using a battery, it instantly becomes less appealing than one who allows natural light to show the glory of their lifestyle. Being out in Los Angeles, the melting pot of all melting pots, it is a harmful mindset that often leads to extremely ugly places. I consider all of us, not as cultures, but as humans who share this world; who share life. If we continue to allow separation occur, we hinder the world's ability to be a functional land of peace and harmony. Just as we can learn from other people, we can learn from other cultures. The fact of the matter is, we are not as different as we all think. As a wonderful Bette Midler song states...

"From a distance the world is blue and green, and the snow capped mountains white." -Bette Midler, From a Distance.

From a distance we are all alike.

Now is the time to take the views from afar and apply them to what is right under our noses.

Awhile back when I began this blog, it was simply an outlet for me to express my feelings. As time progresses, I am finding out that it is so much more of a blessing than that. I have 'met' some extremely enticing and intelligent people through this blog. I am enjoying learning all about these writers from all over the world. I enjoy being part of this blogging community and find genuine joy in keeping in touch with my fans. Thanks to a mention by a brilliant writer, my friend Clay, I met some really great people as of lately. If you are one of these people, thanks so much for sharing with me and I look forward to keeping in touch further.

In life the best way to learn is from experience. These experiences that teach us so much can be our very own, or the experience of another individual. I believe that our main function on earth is to figure things out and share the knowledge. By doing so, we create a world of critical thinking and unique ideas. I enjoy learning about these different thought processes and views, perhaps the root of my return visits to many blogs. When dealing with your lives, remember the experience you build for yourself and those you come into contact with. I enjoy sharing my experiences so much.

In my opinion, one of life's finer gifts is intuition. I think it is so remarkable, that we can think beyond what is presented. I believe that moments in which we intuit, we find more progression and satisfaction then truths we are handed. So often in life, we rest on moments of assurance. It is so much easier to go down the path with signs guiding your way, but I find it is the path with no direction that takes you to a better place. As we walk down the mysterious path, we use our intuition and guts to get us through the obstacles. The burdens that are unexpected are the hardships that teach us the most about the daily "when push comes to shove." Embraces the moments you weren't expecting and appreciate the personal gain you receive from them. As you cruise through the passages in life, I encourage you to find the path less traveled.

These ideas remind me of a concept I presented in a class one time. Essentially I theorized that although we are all living our own stories, from a distance we all compile to build one large story. With shocking beginnings, sometimes happy, sometimes sad endings. No matter what, a story. One worth opening your eyes for and reading.

Isn’t it funny how love can break right through that rib cage that protects us? Well consider it a good thing. Anytime that we can feel something is a good time. All too often we form jaded ideas in terms of relationships because of a few bad experiences. There's no face more sincere than one washed in tears. I love that idea by William Shakespeare. When we are born, we are completely vulnerable to everything; Illness, habits, our surroundings, other’s opinions, essentially everything. When we are born we are innocent. Sometime in the process of growing up we form this hard shell of standards and false strength. So anytime my face is washed by tears, I feel like a baby again and that is a great reminder of my vulnerability and innocence. We all need to manage the fact of acceptance. We need to accept that no matter how hard you fight and want someone in your life they will if they want to leave; they will and they were supposed to. Our futures are unpredictable but reasonable. If someone doesn’t make it to your future then so be it. Wish them the best and continue to do what is best for you. Never let someone become so much of yourself that you lose yourself if you lose them. Love is a chance, not a guarantee…embrace what comes but never fight for what leaves.

A lesson I teach that I need to learn.

Along with the simple task of living, we are also responsible for our social abilities. This includes meeting people, making friends, and most importantly keeping healthy friendships. Sometimes these friendships are easy, but unfortunately, often times, they are hard. Friendships are a give and take human correspondence. It is crucial to offer to your friends, kindness and care. By doing so you create vitality in your friendship, but if you lack the ability to provide to your friends, you will eventually have a hollow friendship that will not be able to withstand the pressures of life. Learning from this, very personally, as many of us have, I do my best to be a friend.

In my early stages of becoming an adult, I decided to write a declaration of how I would pursue life. I recently came across this contract with myself and decided I should share. This was my thought process over 3 years ago.

I am not afraid to walk away from what went wrong. I will move forward without looking back. I will make the most of what is in front of me, and I will not reach for what is no longer mine. I will learn from the footsteps behind me, but I will create many more ahead. I will take my chances and run along, but I will not miss a moment in my speed. I will not walk in circles. I will walk forward, with full force, as far as I can go. My dreams are ahead of me and I will pursue them with all of my heart and conviction. I will live fully and love freely. I will walk, stumble and fall, however, I will not be phased by my moments of struggle, rather enhanced by my strength to stand up and try again. I will never give up on myself.

My declaration of motion. Of perseverance. Of dedication. Of life


I am glad to know that for many years I have been myself. I find it a rare gift that at such a young age I learned who I was. As I am constantly growing more acquainted with me, I will never forget about everything I've learned.


As I seek my path, I wish you the best in finding your own. Along that path, meet new folks, learn from them, build experience, and, most importantly, meet yourself all over again. Life is what you make of it and I plan to make it the best it can be.

**Some points in this post were written at an earlier date, but stand as valid points I felt the need to share.**

Monday, February 16, 2009

More than we are and the most we can be.

I heard a quote recently that I loved.

"I hope your organs fail you before your dreams do."

I believe that in order to make dreams come true, we have to meet fate half way. Chalk it up to hard work, but it is worth every moment of effort. At my new job, in just two weeks, I have caught the attention of my superiors. It is refreshing to know that going an extra mile can guide you through many more. I salute all of you who work extra hard and find reward in doing so.

A friend of mine shared the idea that good things should not be forced. While this a pretty cliche idea, it is a good point to recognize. Too often we get so wrapped up in what want that we lose sight of how we ever lived without it. I do believe that satisfaction comes from gain, intellectual or material, however, we cannot force our desires to come true. If a feat happens prematurely, it lacks the substance and foundation to be vital. I believe that in terms of what we want, we should focus in on patience and trust that what should happen will. As I patiently wait for my moment, I hope you find yours too.

I was more tired this morning due to a late night at work. I was happy to stay a little longer to enjoy the Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band. Being that the Beatles are one of my absolute favorite bands, I enjoyed serving fellow fans and singing along to the timeless tunes. More so, though, I enjoyed feeling like my father was with me. My Dad raised me to the music of the Beatles...I consider their music one of the strongest bonds we share. I remember being younger and going to a Beatles tribute band with my dad and winning tickets to see Paul McCartney. I believe that the memories we build act as the catalyst that forms passion for the rest of our lives. When we experience life to its fullest, we realize that with the right mentality, we can be more than we are and the most we can be.

Waking up this morning a little later than usual (9:30 A.M.)I felt the need to get things done before work tonight. I started by preparing dinner for tonight. I am making chicken breast, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, and a fresh veggie salad. I laugh when describing my cooking abilities. I consider myself the Sandra Lee of the food network. I don't make many things from scratch, but I create my own original meals with things around the kitchen; semi-homemade. I would love to taste some of my readers favorite foods, so please share a recipe with me!

Like I said before, I am getting back into song writing. I've pulled out a pile of lyrics that I've worked on over the past two years. I'm excited to further produce these songs. If given the opportunity, I am going to work on recording some of my music and face my fears of pursuing music. Being that we, for the most part, are writers, I would love to read some poetry of yours. Please share!

This world is full of so much natural beauty. As I am sitting here writing this blog, I looked outside to notice a rainbow shining bright as can be. The rainbow was as clear as can be from each end. I find this so fascinating. I love nature. I tried taking a picture of it, but my camera isn't picking it up too well.

I look forward to hearing back from you with some good recipes and creative writing. Have a fantastic day and thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Violets are blue...

Valentine's Day and any day is what you make of it. For those of us who are single and unhappy about it...we don't have to have a miserable day. We can celebrate all sorts of love. Love for friends, family, pets (that might be an odd date)...or, like me, love of food. The result of my VERY lonely Valentine's day was this:



This picture may not do my dinner justice, but I cooked a fillet with sauteed mushrooms and melted bleu cheese. I served it with seasoned corn on the cob and a salad with fresh mozzarella, cheddar, and carrots grated on top. If you notice, I am referring to my meal in single tense...yes I cooked a meal for one. I enjoyed my meal all alone, but it was fine. I happen to consider myself a fine date.

Writing that actually made me laugh. I would love to hear about my reader's Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Roses are red...

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Although I hate Valentine's day
I wish the best of love to you.


That is the extent of my celebrations today. Okay, I lied. This morning we (my roommates and I) celebrated our second weekly pancake breakfast. Being that it is a "special day" I added sausage and eggs to the menu to make it all the more "special." THAT is the end of my Valentine's day celebration.

If you think I am a monster for not enjoying Valentine's day, read this article I came across today in the LA Times.

Read this article!

Yikes! So I don't think I'll be attacking any couples that I see in passing, so I am not the most awful.

Not too much is going on today, just work at 6:00. Babyface, an R&B singer, will be putting on a special Valentine's day show. Love will be in the air, and I'll just enjoy that. Yesterday I determined that my seven year old cousin is my Valentine. She told me that, although she could, she won't beat me up...so I'm in the good.

In light spirits, I wish you the best of Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Catch me.

Early this morning, I went and read many of my past blog posts. I am shocked at how much I am willing to talk solely about myself. In the beginning it wasn't about that at all, but somewhere along the line I fell into the bad habit. I want to use Onward Bound as an apology to all of those who have had to read TOO MUCH about me. The goal of writing this blog was for those who read it to learn about me through my experiences, not through a tell-all tale of my every move. I will continue to write in my style (I write for my own satisfaction too), but I will work on writing about other things as well.

I won't go into details, because I shouldn't fall for the same tricks over again, but the lyrics to a certain song are ringing through my mind.

"There are certain people, you just keep coming back to.....you begin to wonder, could you find a better one compared to her now she's in question."
-The Fray, All At Once.

Valentine's season may have me in the spirit, but I can't help but think about falling in love for the first time. My first time was a great experience. Regardless if it be young love or not, it is an experience to live with. It is hard to fall when talking about love and it is harder to stand back up if the adventure ends. That's all.

Yesterday when my phone rang, I never knew how much my spirits could be warmed. Immediately upon answering I recognized a voice from my past that instantly put a smile on my face. Growing up, a few individuals acted as a staple of my development. At a young age, I feel I learned my social abilities from practicing on my parent's friends. Some of these people acted simply as a target of my social experimenting, but others grew into more than that. Yesterday's familiar voice grew into so much more than someone from the past. From a young age, her positive and caring energy acted as a magnet to my admiration. With a fun nickname like "Tricky Nicky," she always taught me so much. Although it has been a long time since we've talked, yesterday's 35 minute phone conversation, although unexpected, reminded me how much I care for her. I told her that time may pass between our conversations, but it never divides how much I think of her. Becky Moll helped me remember how important it is to have people you care about believe in you. She also reassures me that if ever I fall, there are a few special people that will be first in line to catch me.

I can't jinx myself here, but as promised I will tell you how my audition went. It went well! I won't say anymore, because I am truly not getting my hopes up, nor do I want to jinx my chances. All I will confirm is that I am in the running for the job. I will hear more early-mid March. Regardless what happens I am proud of how the audition went. Win or lose, in life, it is times of effort that teach us how strong we really are.

Late last year, I conducted an experiment on a social networking site. I asked all of my contacts to share random facts with me. I though by doing this I would, not only learn, I would get a better idea of who my friends are. In efforts to not talk just about myself, I am going to conduct the information again and post it to Onward Bound. I will obtain the random facts from the social networking site again, but I would love to hear from my readers too! Please share a random fact about anything!

Last night I was lucky enough to attend an LA King's game. I love going to sporting events and I get VERY into them. Unfortunately the King's lost the game, but they played well. As cool as the game was (not just because of the ice [yes I said it!]), the Staples Center was equally amazing. The arena is so nice and I felt lucky enough to enjoy it. Go Kings!

I have plenty to get done today before heading to work, so I will conclude here. I hope you have a fantastic and eventful (or relaxing) weekend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Entirely different place.

Something has been on my mind lately and it hit me how profound it really is. I'd imagine there is some variation of this situation in everyone's life, so I hope we can all relate. Isn't it amazing to think how different our lives could be if we could change just one person. We all have a story where someone held us back from something, or altered the way we could have done something. Or perhaps we didn't let that person alter our individuality, but we lose this person in result. For many of us, our lives would be in an entirely different place if that one person didn't act a certain way or think a certain thing. Now, I don't believe in changing people, they are the way they are for a reason, but it is interesting to think what we can accomplish if we simply change someone's mind. As we all enter and leave situations, be conscious to the results you alter by your actions. Inspire yourself to live with an open mind and simply live and let live. This is easier said than done I realize, but it is worth the effort.

Last night I went to the gym with a mission. I had a great run and bike session. I used several of the machines to work on upper body strength. I am currently putting my brain into a boot camp mode. I am going to eat healthier and work harder. There is a way I need to feel and I know that it is in my hands only. I know it is hard, but I am going to do my best to eat the least amount of fatty foods I can. While I'm sure this will raise worry, I am not harming myself in any way. I simply have an image I'd like to fulfill and know that my options are limited to hard work.

I'm excited to have looked further into my education. I will humble myself to admit that my parents and, well everyone were correct about the importance of a degree. Earning a degree has never not been in my goals, however, I pushed it to the wayside. Being out in the rough real world, I am learning how bad I want my broadcast/journalism degree. My options are the following:

A) Get accepted into a school here in California. I am interested in California State University- Long Beach
B) Look into schools in Phoenix, simply because Arizona is my favorite state.
C) Go back to Ohio and finish my educational career at Kent State University.


As far as what will happen, I have not an idea. I am thoroughly exploring all of my options, but I know that before I can progress I need the credentials to go with it. I think I've made my passion for writing and expressing pretty clear- unfortunately, though, I need a degree to prove that I am good enough.

Something else I've wanted to work on is making myself marketable. I don't mean this strictly in the entertainment industry (I feel I am pretty marketable there), but in the entire working world. I feel that versatility is as crucial as oxygen when wanting to have the upper hand. If we rely on a crutch (a single talent) we are technically handicapped. Some of us can walk a little faster with a cruth than others, but the truth remains that nobody on a crutch is as quick as they'd like to be. Academically, I consider myself talented in only one area: Writing. While I love being able to write well, I feel that I could do more. I've worked on a list of things I consider myself confident in and I am making it a daily adventure to add to the list. Whether I take unique classes, or attend seminars, I am going to be as well-rounded as I possibly can.

Along with my list of abilities, I am working my list of goals. Being that I've grown so fond of blogging, I want to take it to the next level. I think I would love to write a book. I've always had ideas floating around in my mind, but I want to put them onto paper. I'm not sure when or how I will start this process, but I think it is a journey I would gain satisfaction from. I don't care if this book ever see's a store shelf, it is just a declaration of my creative passions. When I further my thought process, I will be sure to let everyone know that the work is in progress.

As I focus on the people in my life, fitness and my goals I hope the same for you. I hope nobody is holding you back and that you are free to live the life you enjoy.

Our past is set in stone.

I'm not a guardian angel, nor am I a hero of any sorts. I have a heart of gold and genuine intentions to make things better; those are my powers. In situations where the ones I love are in undeserving positions, I feel helpless that I don't have more to offer. Being a young guy in this world is great, but often leaves me feeling useless. I'm at a point where I am working on building myself rather than a fortune. I just hope those who I feel deserve it understand that if I had more than a shoulder to offer, the help would be theres for the taking. When push comes to shove each individual has the most power to better their situations, but as we all know love is a wonderful catalyst to bettering each day. At a time in my life where I have very little, I offer my love and compassion to anyone who would benefit from it.

As life moves forward, we lose and gain many contacts. This is a simple idea to swallow, except for when the contacts we lose used to be the most cherished of relationships. Just as easily as friendships can be broken, they can be regained. I was lucky enough to meet one of my best friends at age 5. Him and I have been through it all together, ultimately building an extremely unique bond. Over the years our paths divided and we ended up in two very different places. It was never easy knowing that we weren't the same two people we used to be, but the inevitable was that our interest changed. I never forgot about a single moment we shared, from vacations to growing up, but I feared that we were out of moments to build. Luckily, our bond was too strong to divide and we found a way to manage our friendship better. We went from completely losing touch to talking everyday. In a new peak of our friendship, I wish we were closer and able to spend time together, however, just catching up is good. As I catch up with my good friend, I urge my readers to make a few phone calls and re-connect with faces from the past. After all, the faces of the past are the only one's who can understand what you got you to the future.

Just as our friendships change constantly, so do we. As I am in a life altering situation I have made the promise to not forget who I was. I realize now that without our roots, growing is an impossible task. It is the nourishment of who we were that allows us to change into who we can become. Being that I am on a journey to become the best and most fulfilled person I can be, I find myself thinking about the past more than ever. I remember playing with my sibling's friends when I was too young to have my own, I remember going to work with my dad when I had nowhere to be, I remember crying when my mom would try leaving the house, because I had no one to be with, I remember earning my license and driving all over town, I remember graduating high school and having an aching heart because of the people I wouldn't see anymore. I remember the past because the only direction we can look and see something is backwards. Our futures are unlimited, but our past is set in stone.

Two days ago in Los Angeles, a high profile police chase took place. It lasted hours and involved a beautiful Bentley and the LAPD. As my roommate and I watched it on the news, we recognized the area the chase was taking place; RIGHT BY OUR APARTMENT! So we headed out to our balcony and started looking around. Sure enough, we looked up and there were many helicopters shining their lights above us. It was amazing...like the stars blew up and were shining out of control. As we watched the helicopters fly, we were able to see the chase on a highway that you can see from our apartment. As much as I'd rather there be no police chase, it was pretty neat to see. Unfortunately the driver of the Bentley ended the chase by ending his life.

Call me biased, but I do not like Valentines day. I dislike that love is considered so important around this time of year, when it should be constantly. I dislike all of the gush on TV. I most likely do not dislike it as much as I exclaim, but rather just dislike it because I don't celebrate it. I've had one good Valentine's day my entire life and that was last year. Although me and the girl no longer keep in touch, I will always remember the good times we've shared. There is something priceless about falling in love when you are young. No matter what happens between you and that person, you will always remember them. Despite what I should feel, I miss the fun and feeling of enjoying her company more than anyone's. That was last year, this is now and I don't like Valentine's day.

Tomorrow I have another Disney audition. This one shouldn't be too difficult, it is a character look-alike for the Disney Cruise. This may sound absurd that I just got to LA and I'm already trying to trek the sea, but it is a temporary contract. I've always wanted to go on a cruise ship, and what better way to experience that. I don't truly know what to expect for the audition, but I will go with the best of attitudes and charm the pants off of the judges! I'll keep you updated with the audition tomorrow.

I cannot catch up with time. Lately it seems to be flying faster than the wind. I feel like I have all of these plans and I can't complete them all by the week's end. I suppose we are all encouraged to cherish every second of our day's, because they come and go so quickly. As time continues to fly, I should go check more off of my "to do" list. For everyone back in Ohio, enjoy the beautiful weather I keep hearing about. To everyone, I wish you the best!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Simply.

Lately I've been getting back into song writing. I'm not generally an overly cocky person, but I have to say I enjoy what I conduct in my head. Music is the root of my performance interest. I've been thinking pretty hard about pursuing music along with acting. Singing is my number one passion, regardless of who thinks I am talented or not. I'll work on getting something I wrote on my blog.

Today I applied for a job at this fantastic hotel, so I'll keep you updated with that.

With her second mention in my blog, Amber is becoming a good friend of mine. She reminds me that things don't have to be difficult. When we are together we SIMPLY have a good time. I appreciate her coming into my life. With her, and anybody, I enjoy conversation that is honest. No matter what I talk about with people, I feel that if the conversation is honest, it is beneficial.

Often in life we are left asking "why?" I can't go into specifics, but I want those who deserve it to be treated right. I want those who work hard and diligently to be rewarded with moving forward. I hate seeing the ones I love, and anybody who act completely strong all of the time be knocked down for no good reason.

Unfortunately, I don't have much to talk about today. That has been my motto all day. I didn't clean, I didn't cook dinner, and I'm not writing too much.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Experiencing it.

In the land of glamour and fortune I am learning something that makes me cringe. The majority of society who have obtained monetary success grow unfortunately arrogant. I don't care who you are, self-entitlement is a severely ugly quality. Regardless where we stand on the ladder of this world, we are all equal. The homeless man on the corner, or the big shot executive in the VIP section at a club are all the same. I respect those who worked hard and grew successful, but I instantly look down on someone who feels they can have their way because of what they own. I feel that I am learning, more than ever, that one can shine a true light on themselves, not by what they have, but the character they build. I am so grateful to have learned this, because the power of humility is more vivid than ever. No matter where I go in life, middle class or upper, I will use my achievements to share happiness with everyone.

Living in a big city, I come across many, many homeless people. They stand around on every corner with the hopes that someone will find it in their hearts to lend money. 98% of the time, these people get passed up. I often feel guilty passing these people up, but the fact of the matter is that I don't have enough money to give every homeless person something. I know I could give some money to someone, but than I feel like it is unfair to not spread the wealth. Money aside, I find these individuals remarkable. While many people pass them up without a thought, I can't help but wonder where they have been. I refuse to believe that their entire life's have been spent sitting on a corner. A great Emerson Drive song says "I've had my moments, days in the sun." As I wonder about the past lives of these hopeful people, those lyrics ring through my head. I may not have money to spare, but I have a smile to share. Sometimes I feel like that is enough. Money has value, but kindness is priceless.

I can officially say I've lived in Los Angeles for over a month. It is amazing to think that this journey began that long ago. I enjoy looking back and seeing what I've experienced in such a short amount of time. I have kept in touch with my promise to not take a single day for granted. I am so grateful for every minute that I've experienced here. As much fun as the past month has been, there has been a huge sacrifice. I haven't seen my family or friends for a long time. As much as I enjoy building a new life here, I hate separating myself from the people I love. I miss my mom and dad very much. I've decided that no matter what, I will never be used to not sharing my life with them.

After rearranging my entire life, I find it more crucial than ever to find some sense of organization. I've made my task for the day to get to a level of organization where I am no longer living out of a suitcase. It seems very unsettling to me to do laundry and put all of my clothes back into a suitcase. I feel that I will have more of a sense of home here if I officially unpack. I am 50% done hanging up my clothes and sorting through my things, and I feel pretty satisfied with myself.

Staring out the window during my break from cleaning, I cannot help but be in awe when staring at the mountains. I know this sounds silly, but I feel like the mountains are closer to me than ever. Since being here, I've yet to see them so clearly. They appear light blue, but darker than the sky resting behind them. The snow on top adds the perfect variety of color...I am in awe. I find it to be a blessing that on the same patio, I can see a big city, a mountain range, palm trees, and residential areas. There is so much variety in this world and I am so grateful to be experiencing it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Where I want to be.

I worked tonight, and it was a blast. I am excited to work hard with this job.

Tonight is the big night. The Grammy awards are taking place, and you can feel it in the air. As I drove around downtown today, you could see preparation happening on every block. Camera crews, equipment vehicles, packed hotel lobby's consumed the area. Since I was little, I've enjoyed the Grammy awards. Although I won't be enjoying the ceremony, I will be working the after party at Club Nokia. I cannot wait to see all of the people dressed up and having a great time. Being around all of this only enhances my drive. I feel inspired to get to where I want to be, so one day I could be enjoying the Grammy's as a performer.

As far as the professional aspect of life goes, I really enjoy the process. I enjoy seeing ambition at its finest as workers strive to move up. Climbing the ladder of any company is a challenge, and I find it very fun to attempt the climb. As I continue to work hard, I cannot wait to see what opportunities arise.

I wish I had more time to write, but I have to work on making dinner before work. I cannot wait to share the stories of my first Grammy's night in Los Angeles! Take care everyone and enjoy the show if you are watching it on TV.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Slow moment.



There it is folks, me in uniform. Tonight is my first night of work. Being that I don't know what to expect, I will wait until tomorrow to report back with details.

This morning was very fun to me. I woke up and decided that my roommates and I needed to have a pancake morning. So I fired up the stove and made a stack of pancakes. I can tell that it made everyone cheery, because, well, everyone was cheery! Being myself, I instantly headed to the gym after eating my share. I'm not sure if it is healthy on my bones to run everyday, but there is something one of a kind about running.

I believe that the most valuable lessons are learned from those we share life with. My Aunt Elaine used a metaphor that really inspired me. So all my credit goes to Aunt Elaine here, but this is my variation of the metaphor.

Life consists of many peaks and valleys and inevitably we have to experience both. Take with you the triumphs of the peaks; by doing so, the valleys will be much easier to travel.

More than ever, I am learning the value of patience. Upon revealing my stories to the many people who ask, I find that I describe my frustration with sitting around. Being that this frustration started two days upon arrival to Los Angeles, I will chalk it up to needing more patience. Like they say, Rome was not built in a day. As I continue to build my empire (so cheesy), I will appreciate the pace in which it all happens. Like I told a close friend today, growing up happens too fast. I will take my advice and not rush the process any more.

Sorry to be short, but I have a shift to cover! As I begin work tonight, I hope you enjoy a slow moment in life. I consider myself a busy body, therefore, I love the speed- for all of us who like to be busy, find moments that last a long time!

Who are we?

In a society of conformity and ideals, who are we? Who are we, if the very people we share paths with close their minds to the different people we all can be? I cannot fathom living in a world with no color, nor a world with no individuality. As this world continues to turn event after event, I cannot appreciate the fact that people question another person's right to be who they choose to be. I find that it is the individuality of the world that keeps life interesting. I hope for everyone to open their minds and let others do as they please. If someone isn't hurting mankind, so be it. Putting definitions on others takes too much away from what this world is about. I choose to let everyone love who they want, look the way they want, build life...the way they want. I hope the same for myself; I don't want other's to control the person I can be.

As the economy declines, so does my, and many other's, bank accounts. Today I spent $100 like it was nothing. I had to buy groceries (I may stop eating) and pants for work tomorrow night. I truly feel that I do my darnedest to shop intelligently, but still the amount I spend is ridiculous. I am excited to start work tomorrow, so I can find balance in this purchasing frenzy.

Tonight, Ian and I went to the NOFX concert. The venue was fantastic; with it's rugged look, I couldn't help but feel that LA's Music Box (the venue) was a place of much history and character. On the way home, we drove by the Walt Disney Music Hall, a building that speaks for itself. The architectural design is so unbelievable that magic truly radiates from its walls.

I consider these venues to be a lot like our society. Both are so different, one classic and the other modern, but they share something remarkable: Music. Each of us are completely different from one another, but we all share something too: The right to live the life we imagine. I respect everyone's right to their pursuit, and I hope that respect is offered in return.

As I fight my eyes to stay open, I hope you find diversity in your days to come. I hope you live with an open mind and heart; I hope you find love in return.